The idea of perspective always comes down to one key idea which is essentially that we are all one miniscule part of this vast world, no matter how you look at it. More so, within this world we inhabit our own sub-communities . College campuses are full of very different people who all come from different walks of life yet join together in unison within this one bubble that is college. For many, college is the beginning of a journey, but for others, it may be just another major milestone along the way. While yes, everyone may seem to be at a similar point in life, the true depth of every individual says otherwise.
Humans of Drexel University, inspired by the infamous Humans of New York blog, is a page that was created by Kruti Patel, a sophomore nursing student here at Drexel University. The blog can be found on Facebook and Instagram @humansofdrexeluni. Patel was inspired by the art of photography and the stories she read on HONY and decided that, since Drexel didn’t already have a running blog relating to this, she would start one as a freshman.
“The main reason why I wanted to create Humans of Drexel University was because I love hearing about everyone’s background, culture and their overall experiences. Drexel is composed of a vastly diverse community from the students to staff to faculty. There is so much we don’t know about others and much we can’t seem to express about ourselves,” said Patel.
While Patel is a social person who has no trouble walking up to a stranger and introducing herself and conducting minor interviews, many of us are quite the opposite. That’s why Humans of Drexel University is such an important addition to the community and this campus and everyone who encompasses it.
Many of us would love to get to know more about the people we see on the daily and many of us would just like the opportunity to be heard when we feel like we have no voice. Humans of Drexel University is a platform that does both, and with its continued success, can make this campus very open and can start conversations and create room for new friendships.
We never get to hear the stories of the familiar faces we see on the commute to and from work or school. We never know anything else besides the names of those who work at the coffee shop every morning. The people walking their dogs or sitting on park benches are just faces. Our professors seem to only be there to teach us. But everyone is so much more than who they seem. In a place like a college campus, it is easy to get lost in the familiarly of the faces we see daily and not think much of it because to us they are just familiar strangers. They are people who attend the same school as us and that is all. But just like each one of us, every one of them has a story, a confession, an experience.
People who hold social status or fame should not be the only people whose stories we hear. These are not the people who will truly influence us. The ones who can help are those who surround us daily. Sometimes, there is a sense of comfort when you hear that someone is going through something similar to you or may feel the same way. The idea that you aren’t truly alone in your thoughts and feelings is powerful and healing. Humans of Drexel University shares that sentiment by revealing the true facets of someone’s thoughts by asking them provoking questions. We begin to feel united and closer to people who we may have only exchanged a look with and somehow we connect.
It is a page of sharing unlike any other. Social media is usually a place to highlight the better aspects of one’s life as if to make their life seem ideal and perfect. Humans of Drexel University highlights the imperfections, flaws, downsides, and struggles that life presents. It proves that we can overcome it and the battle to getting back to the top is an ongoing process for just about everyone. Rather than asking people to recount their fondest memories or their happy times, Kruti asks people to dig deep and reveal, on social media, what has made them angry, why they feel sad or frustrated, or what their biggest fear is. What’s even more surprising is how open people are to this. Kruti has opened up a platform for people to speak and for more people to listen; this creates a connection unlike any other. It begins to exchange the unfamiliarity with real connections.
This blog is still new and growing but can soon become an exhaustive list of those who inhabit the campus of Drexel. It can become a visual representation of how different or alike the backgrounds of each individual are. Pictures themselves capture a thousand words but adding stories with these photographs exudes a power unlike any other. When Patel began this project, all she had was a sociable personality and a willingness to help people. In the end, we all have so much to gain from this blog as it’s a constant reminder that despite our preconceived notions of people or how they may appear externally, every single person has so much more depth. We all have so much to learn about ourselves and others yet most of the time we shy away from it. Ironically, being the most vulnerable by recounting your personal stories to be shared online to many people seems to be the best way to combat the many barriers we face. As readers or sharers, we never know who we will connect with and relate to and usually we never get the chance to find those people so easily. Whether we guard ourselves from making friends, connecting with others or helping those we can, putting our experiences out in the open breaks down the things that hinder us to make this community a bit more open and to make sure no one ever feels alone.